From BBC News
16th March 2020
Boris Johnson said people should work from home where possible as part of a range of stringent new measures.
Pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions should consider the advice “particularly important”, he said.
People in at-risk groups will be asked within days to stay home for 12 weeks.
More than 1,500 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK – but the actual number of cases is estimated to be between 35,000 and 50,000.
The key new government measures are:
- Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
- Everyone should work from home if they can
- All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease
- People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
- By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”
- The UK is now “three weeks” behind Italy – the worst-hit country in Europe
- If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
- Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” – but they may leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”
- Schools will not be closed for the moment
Chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said the group of people who should take “particular care to minimise their social contact” were:
- People over the age of 70
- Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
- Pregnant women